Olympics Cancellation Looks Increasingly Likely, Tokyo Reportedly Targeting 2032 Games

Jan 22, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
Maja Wloszczowska from Poland is leading the olympic race with Jenny Rissveds on her backwhell.

A report by the Times has cast serious doubt on the viability of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Games were originally scheduled to run last summer but were postponed to this year due to the Coronavirus. However, the State of Emergency declared last month in Tokyo, alongside hospital bed occupancy in 19 of Japan’s 47 prefectures reaching stage 4 – the most critical level – with the highest numbers concentrated in Tokyo, means that the Games are in danger of not going ahead once more in 2021.

The Times is reporting that an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition has said, "No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it’s too difficult. Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen." The source implies that the prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has given up hope on the Games and they are also unpopular with the Japanese population, as opinion polls show that 80 percent of Japanese people are against the Games going ahead in July and August.

Japan has rejected these claims with a public reply to the report on Friday. It said, “All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the IOC and the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer. We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure Games."

IOC president, Thomas Bach, added, “We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo. This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these Games safe and successful.”

Earlier in the week, Sir Keith Mills, the former chief executive of the London 2012 Olympics, told the BBC, "If I was sitting in the shoes of the organising committee in Tokyo, I would be making plans for a cancellation... They've got another month or so before they need to make a call." However, Japan has reportedly spent at least $25 billion on the Games so far and will be keen to recoup that cost if possible. IOC member Dick Pound previously suggested that athletes could get priority vaccines to ensure the Games go ahead while a televised Games behind closed doors has also been suggested. However, this would mean that the Japanese authorities would lose out on generating money from ticket sales.

Julien Absalon already has two Olympic gold medals at home. This time he has to leave Rio with 8th place.

It seems that postponing to 2022 will not be a possibility for the Games either. Pound told the BBC, "What we do know is 2021 is our last chance. It's not something we can put off until 2022 or 2023. I don't think it's fair to expect Japan to keep the balls in the air any longer." Instead, Japan may now be looking to use its infrastructure for a future Games. In 2024 the Olympics will be held in Paris, followed by Los Angeles in 2028 but the 2032 Games do not currently have a host city. The Times source said, "[The Government] want to show that they are ready to go, so that they will get another chance in 11 years. In these circumstances, no one could really object to that."

It is most likely that the decision to run the Games or not will be down to national governing bodies. The original postponement of the Games was triggered when both Australia and Canada said they would not be sending any athletes. If any similar-sized nations declared the same this year we imagine that would be the death knell for the 2021 Games.

Athletes will only be hoping for an answer one way or another as soon as possible so they have the most time possible to tailor their training to the year ahead. We'll keep you updated with the status of the Olympics as it develops.


204 Comments

  • 252 7
 Dick Pound, still lol
  • 20 2
 I thought that was a joke, is he actually a real person???
  • 15 2
 @Skiskateshane: I guess it's short for Richard
  • 22 2
 why would someone name their kid that?
  • 59 18
 @Skiskateshane: Very real. My guess is that he's an adult and works with other adults so it's probably not a huge deal.
  • 32 2
 @tgr9: Dont assume things.


ps, Dick Pound
  • 141 0
 @Skiskateshane: You really should see the book cover of his book. And read the 4th review from the top!
www.amazon.com/Inside-Olympics-Behind-Scenes-Politics/dp/0470838701
  • 17 0
 @kcy4130: this made my day
  • 24 0
 Ya in Canada we just call him Ricky Gram.
  • 3 0
 always lol. top comment 2021 contender.
  • 15 0
 @kcy4130: "penetrating look at the five-ringed world" what if dick is just trolling us all and getting off on every moment of it
  • 3 0
 @fullfacemike: Ever watched Robocop? It's not pleasant being called "Dick" by your adversary in the washroom. Wink
  • 1 0
 @tgr9 Damn you beat me to it.
  • 9 0
 @kcy4130: Top notch wordsmanship right there. Hope Dick's been checking his reviews.
  • 1 0
 Yeah he’s a real person 4 or 5 paragraphs from the top first sentence or so you’ll see it. @Skiskateshane:
  • 9 1
 @Skiskateshane: Dick Pound is a f*ckin' OG, he's a huge part of the reason that athletes aren't doped out the wazoo anymore, as fun as that would be to see
  • 21 0
 "Dick Pound here with Japan as it struggles to keep its balls in the air"
  • 4 0
 @kcy4130: and the following ones lol
  • 4 0
 @fullfacemike: I think Dick Pound is a big deal, *especially* for adults.
  • 23 0
 @fullfacemike: when Dick Pound talks to BBC, it's a huge deal
  • 4 0
 @joshfrandsen: or why richard buttkis
  • 7 0
 @Skiskateshane: Highly recommend everyone watch Icarus on Netflix. Highlights who he is and his role in the Olympics, but also a CRAZY story of state-sponsored doping in Russia.
  • 19 0
 @ceecee: The show with Dick Pound on the BBC was called Hardtalk. You can't make this up.
  • 8 0
 @stevenroka: next episode: Low-Hanging Fruit
  • 6 0
 @kcy4130: if only I could upvote more than once
  • 6 0
 @stevenroka: the man's entire life is a dick joke
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: Wow Amazon is a great training playground for writers hahaha.
  • 3 4
 Dick Pound
  • 7 0
 @kcy4130: OMG the review section is absolute gold.
  • 5 0
 @kcy4130: Spectacular,
Couple of the reviews are quite funny
  • 3 0
 @fullfacemike: my guess is that there are a lot of adults working with him who still have a laugh and a joke about it. I know I would!
  • 16 2
 @tgr9:
How do you get Dick from Richard?











Maybe asking him nicely...
  • 1 0
 @tgr9: you should watch the history of swear words on Netflix with the episode focused on dick...it will answer all your questions.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: now thats funny
  • 3 0
 He's know as Richard lb in polite circles, you filthy animals.
  • 2 1
 Gotta get dick pound top two years in a row
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Considering how high up and successful he is, I'd have to assume that laughing at his name will quickly get you excluded from both A) people whose opinion Dick Pound values and B) people employed by the IOC.
  • 1 0
 @tgr9: it's only short until he gets excited. Then it poundin' time baby!
  • 1 1
 @fullfacemike: nah mate. They can’t discriminate.
  • 2 0
 That guy is a real pain in the ass
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: Kent Kondo is a genius
  • 2 0
 @Skiskateshane: he's the longest serving member of the IOC...
  • 2 0
 @ad15: I hope people get your diabolically clever joke....
  • 1 0
 Seriously, this is literary gold! Lines such as "...the longest-serving active member..." "...Pound rose rapidly..." "He got involved with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) at an early age."

www.velonews.com/culture/the-outer-line-a-discussion-with-dick-pound-the-first-president-of-wada
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: would appear not .. a big whoosh... glad at least one person did
  • 28 0
 I know these guys are pros but the potential kinetic energy vector from balls to saddle in the last photo should one's front wheel get stuck in a hole just makes me incredibly nervous.
  • 31 0
 Did you ride in the early 90s? We did entire rides in that position.
  • 2 11
flag gravity354 (Jan 22, 2021 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 That's Nino - will never happen.
  • 15 0
 @gravity354: Def not Nino. Looks like Absalon.
  • 8 0
 @gravity354: It's not Nino, it's Rémy Absalon. Not gonna happen with him either Big Grin
  • 10 0
 @dolface: *Julien Absalon.
Remy is his enduro brother.
  • 3 0
 @nozes: D'oh! You're right, thank you!
  • 12 0
 @AndrewFleming: who needs a dropper post when you've ridden in the 90's?
  • 5 0
 @fumando: Seriously right. I just got my first dropper post last week and I'm still figuring it out. Old dog, new tricks...
  • 5 0
 @AndrewFleming: I had the same experience when I got my first one and now I'd rather ride without suspension than without a dropper. They're a game- changer IMO (once you get the muscle memory down).
  • 3 0
 @fumando: Look up what a hite-rite is. The original dropper - from the 80s.
  • 3 0
 @djyosh: If you ever got one of those bastards to work without binding I want to know your secret!
  • 4 0
 ...dick pound.
  • 24 0
 cant wait to see emily batty at the 2032 london games
  • 5 0
 Same
  • 5 0
 and also the 2024 and 2028 London games
  • 22 0
 "I don't think it's fair to expect Japan to keep the balls in the air any longer."

I see what you did there, Dick Pound.
  • 19 1
 Did anyone else just skim the article for dick pound? Bummer about the games.
  • 34 0
 Yeah, I finished rather quickly.
  • 15 0
 Back again for more Dick Pound comments
  • 12 0
 Untamed senior member my ass. We know it's you Dick Pound.
  • 49 0
 "Dick Pound, my ass"
  • 8 0
 Better start on that Covid 25 vaccine
  • 1 1
 I thought the other variant was COVID 16....
  • 6 1
 Why not postpone Tokyo to 2022, then Paris 2026 etc....There are vaccines now and most of the world I hope might have found a way to get things back to normal-ish after summer 2021
  • 2 0
 Because that would put the summer and winter olympics in the same year going forward.
  • 1 0
 I was about to say that was the best idea yet until HB208 spoke up. Good thinking though
  • 4 0
 I mean every time I hear a City has been chosen to held olympics this city must urgently prepare lots of infrastructure that goes with it, then every time it's almost achieved in a complete rush. For exemple I know that the extension of metro (subway) planned for Paris won't happen in time for the 2024 olympics even though the initial plan was to have this metro connected to airports for the 2024 olympics. If everything is moved +2 more years it solves a lot of issues no ?
  • 9 2
 I’d rather get my life back on track. f*ck those money making a*sholes
  • 6 0
 Keeping balls in the air is definitely a big ask Dick Pound, words of wisdom.
  • 8 1
 Covid will still be here in 2032.
  • 2 5
 That's a real concern and it might take a generation or more to become "just another cold virus", but hopefully by then certain countries will be taking it more seriously.
  • 5 5
 @boozed: The US doesn't seem to care. At least where I live, people still do stupid crap. Here is a gym full of people watching a strongman competition like 20 minutes from my house: www.reddit.com/r/Boise/comments/kyyzyz/in_garden_city_today
  • 3 0
 Quote: The original postponement of the Games was triggered when both Australia and Canada said they would not be sending any athletes. If any similar-sized nations declared the same this year we imagine that would be the death knell for the 2021 Games.

No such worries from the Russian camp, their athletes have all had their injections, and feel ready to go. Team Dr's told them it was a vaccine...
  • 6 0
 Good thing Batty didn't put an effort in to 2020 to save for the Olympics.
  • 5 1
 Okay.. Can anyone tell me why there is no Downhill Racing scheduled in the Olympics yet???
If there is World Cup XC and World Cup DH, why is there ONLY Olympic XC?
  • 6 0
 Because it'd be the only summer olympic event that would require a mountain and may have to be hundreds of miles away from the main venue at many of the locations.
  • 1 0
 Plus it would end up looking like Sea Otter downhill, not WC DH. Patly due to the terrain, partly due to how many countries would enter athletes that had zero chance of surviving a world cup level course. ... and then, due to the course being easy and more fitness oriented, the best DHers probably wouldn't win, so anyone that cares about the sport would hate it and call it pointless anyway. Look at what happened to olympic soccer, and a lot of the conbat sports, especially boxing.
  • 2 0
 How does the situation comes to that point in Japan ? They had less cases than rest of the world for a while because they're used to wearing masks as soon as they're sick, also they salute without getting in contact with each other.
  • 1 0
 I know that PB brings up that Japan denies the reports, but it is worth noting that they are doing so since the head line would make one think they are about to be cancelled. We shall see what ends up being true, but I wouldn't call it "increasingly likely."

www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-says-reports-of-the-tokyo-olympics-being-canceled-are-categorically-untrue-11611333895
  • 1 0
 This. Dude just had a convo with a olympian friend and she screamed fake news. It will happen.
  • 3 0
 So no one is learning from the cluster f**k that is the Australian Tennis Open. And that is litterly just a tiny number of people representing one sport.
  • 2 0
 Tokyo should just get the next Olympics. They spent tons of money building the infrastructure for the Olympics. They built a new stadium in center of downtown Tokyo. In 2032, they will likely have to rebuild stuff again.
  • 2 2
 Based on this news, www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain/british-pm-says-new-variant-may-carry-higher-risk-of-death-idUSKBN29R0R0 I wouldn't count on much happening this year until global vaccinations rates dramatically increase. Stay safe.
  • 3 0
 The XC course looked great. I hope they do a World Championship or at least a WC if the olympics don't happen.
  • 1 0
 I bet that log section is fun whilst wet, it'll be luke the muddy carnage they had at Albstat(?) a few years ago when loads of the women can off and all seemed to finish cut up...
  • 2 2
 The other 50 plus comments are hidden . I spoke my mind. My apologies. I'll keep my comments simple and positive. For all those diving into the intense discussion below threshold. It's a deep dark pit of negative vibes.
Again my apologies.
I wear a mask. I do social distancing . I'm extra careful not to get injured.
Way before Covid I understood viral transmission it's not a new subject. I do everything I can in a practical way to reduce getting or transmitting and virus or bacteria.
Unfortunately I don't see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Pink Bike this story is depressing there is nothing positive about this . Nothing.
So why post this? Can you keep the vibes positive and we can all get depressed watching the news.
I know Pink Bike changed . The publication makes a concerted effort to promote healthy happy conversation.
I blew it. I felt depressed and angry.
Because of this cold shitty reality.
  • 2 0
 Im only here for the Dick Pounding and the idiotic "DH in olympics dude" comments....
  • 2 3
 Reporting, quite prematurely, that a cancelation of the Olympics "looks increasingly likely" (from a source not involved in the Olympic Games at that) is very irresponsible and could potentially disrupt people's lives and livelihoods.
  • 3 0
 I think an article on pinkbike is less disruptive of people's lives than, you know... the pandemic. And it's a realistic concern. I stopped training for the olympics precisely because of it.
  • 2 0
 Two business ventures I feel no pain over losing revenue due to Covid 19; Ticketmaster and the IOC.
  • 3 0
 Im shocked.
  • 2 0
 This could potencially end some riders carreer.
  • 2 3
 more to a career than just one race.
  • 5 0
 @jaydawg69: Tell that to an Olympian.
  • 1 1
 @nozes: how does not having an Olympics end a career? World champs isn't good enough? More to sports than 1 event imo.
  • 3 1
 @jaydawg69: The Olympics is the ultimate sporting event on the planet.
Any professional athlete would trade 10 world championships for a Olympic gold medal without blinking.
I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's just the way it is.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: Many athletes get their sponsorship deals based on making it to the olympics start line, no matter the result.
  • 1 0
 @vaqui: not going to end their career.
  • 1 0
 Literally just read a cbc news article that stated the opposite - that the IOC plans to go ahead with the games
  • 1 0
 There's going to be some serious interest owing on those loans by 2032, death doesn't cost as much.
  • 1 0
 "Dick Pound doesn't think it's fair for Japan to keep the balls in the air any longer."
  • 1 0
 If men named Richard are nicknamed Dick, then can women named Richelle also be nicknamed Dick?
  • 3 1
 Lame
  • 1 0
 Dick Pound, IOC member. Also, your mom's nickname in high school.
  • 2 1
 Let me know when DH is in the olympics and I will care a lot more!
  • 1 0
 Olympic athletes scrambling to create their own seths bike hacks channel.
  • 1 0
 Stevie Wonder saw this coming
  • 1 0
 I mean it makes sense, but wow a whole frickin' decade!
  • 1 0
 Whooo cares. Also, Dick pound.
  • 1 0
 Japan be like... "Thank Goodness!"
  • 1 0
 Those poor athletes getting all fat and lethargic....
  • 1 0
 It's over Johnny...
  • 1 0
 Dick Pound.
  • 1 4
 Hello everyone, my name is Leon and I have an announcement to make to the entire mountain bike community, I really really really love to look at and touch other men's pee pees.
  • 1 0
 good.
  • 1 0
 This isn't correct.
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